by Edward Lee
It’s generally recognized that baptism has been restored to its sacramental centrality in the life of the church. Baptism gives the Christian his/her essential identity. It’s our mandate for ministry which means it is a serious and solemn vocation. But we need to regain this sense of solemnity if we are to do our missionary work in daily life. Here, therefore, are four spiritual directors for the baptized, who in their lifetimes were serious about ministry for the sake of God’s mission in the world.
“The work in front of you is God’s work and not yours. If God wants it to succeed, it will. If God doesn’t, it won’t. What God wants of you is to try! So have courage – and move.”
Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), founder of the Society of Jesus
“A spirituality that preaches resignation under official hostilities, servile acquiescence in frustration and sterility, and total submission to organized injustice is one which has lost interest in holiness and remains concerned only with a spurious notion of ‘order.'”
Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Trappist monk and author
“What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when, of course, it is the cross.”
Flannery O’Conner (1925-1964), American writer and essayist
“The trouble with some of us is that we have been inoculated with small doses of Christianity which keep us from catching the real thing.”
Leslie D. Weatherhead (1893-1976), English theologian and preacher
Baptism is the real thing and a serious vocation indeed!